home   genetic news   bioinformatics   biotechnology   literature   journals   ethics   positions   events   sitemap
  HUM-MOLGEN -> Genetic News | search  

Getting In Touch With Your Feelings

  July, 30 2002 8:39
your information resource in human molecular genetics
The touch of a loved one can evoke strong, pleasant emotions. Scientists now believe they have found the set of nerves that make up this ‘emotional touch’ system, reports a study in the September issue of Nature Neuroscience. The new findings suggest a function for a type of nerve whose role had previously been a mystery.

Studying the emotional aspects of touch is difficult because touching activates many different types of nerves in the skin. To determine which type is important for eliciting an emotional response, Håkan Olausson and colleagues in Sweden and Canada examined a patient who had completely lost the main touch nerves throughout most of her body. A specialized subset of nerves (called tactile C-fibers), however, remained intact. Despite the loss, when her arm was lightly stroked with a soft paintbrush, she could detect a slight, pleasant sensation. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, the researchers found that areas of the brain involved in emotional processing were activated in response to the pleasant strokes. Because these special touch-related fibers were the predominant remaining nerves in the patient’s skin, the authors conclude that these fibers are the sensors for emotional touch.

Author contact:

Håkan Olausson
Department of Clinical Neurophysiology
Sahlgrenska University Hospital
Gothenberg, Sweden
Tel: +46 31 342 10 00
E-mail: olausson@physiol.gu.se

Also available online.

(C) Nature Neuroscience press release.

Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

print this article mail this article
Latest News
Variants Associated with Pediatric Allergic Disorder

Mutations in PHF6 Found in T-Cell Leukemia

Genetic Risk Variant for Urinary Bladder Cancer

Antibody Has Therapeutic Effect on Mice with ALS

Regulating P53 Activity in Cancer Cells

Anti-RNA Therapy Counters Breast Cancer Spread

Mitochondrial DNA Diversity

The Power of RNA Sequencing

‘Pro-Ageing' Therapy for Cancer?

Niche Genetics Influence Leukaemia

Molecular Biology: Clinical Promise for RNA Interference

Chemoprevention Cocktail for Colon Cancer

more news ...

Generated by News Editor 2.0 by Kai Garlipp
WWW: Kai Garlipp, Frank S. Zollmann.
7.0 © 1995-2023 HUM-MOLGEN. All rights reserved. Liability, Copyright and Imprint.